Dasarupaka (critical study)

by Anuru Ranjan Mishra | 2015 | 106,293 words

This page relates ‘Technical Aspects of a Ihamriga’ of the English study of the Dasarupaka of Dhananjaya: an important work on Hindu dramaturgy (Natya-shastra) from the tenth century dealing with the ten divisions of Sanskrit drama (nata), describing their technical aspects and essential dramaturgical principals. These ten types of drama are categorised based on the plot (vastu), hero (neta) and sentiment (rasa)

Part 11 - Technical Aspects of a Īhāmṛga

The Rukmiṇīharaṇa contains the technical aspects, such as:

  1. benedictory (nāndī),
  2. prologue (prastāvanā),
  3. intimation scene (nepathya),
  4. aside (svagata),
  5. aloud (prakāśa),
  6. confidential statement (apavārita),
  7. explanatory scene (viṣkambhaka) and
  8. epilogue (bharatavākya).

Benedictory (nāndī) –

The benedictory (nāndī) comes at the beginning of the drama. The benedictory verse is recited by a Brahmin for the welfare of the audience, as the part of preliminary.

In the Rukmiṇīharaṇa, the author has used [the following two verses  as nāndī, for the salutation of Pārvatī and Kṛṣṇa]:

daramukulitanetrā………dambhabhaṅgiḥand upalaśakalakalpaḥ……mūko murāriḥ”.

Prologue (prastāvanā) –

The prologue is an important feature employed at the beginning, after the benedictory. The stage manager (Sūtradhāra) generally conducts it either with the companion of the establisher (Sthāpaka), the jester (Vidūṣaka) or the actress (Naṭī). They discuss about the matter of the plot or the author. In the Rukmiṇīharaṇa, the prologue is conducted by the stage manager and the establisher. The stage manager declares that the drama Rukmiṇīharaṇa, which is composed by the poet Vatsarāja, is going to be staged by the order of the king. The prologue runs for a very short period.

Intimation (nepathya) –

The speech behind the curtain comes frequently in every drama, which is also called intimation scene (cūlikā or nepathya). This is an indication of event, which comes from the background and is presented by any character that remains behind the curtain. It comes frequently in the drama. In the Rukmiṇīharaṇa, Vatsarāja has used it frequently in every act.

Aside (svagata) and Aloud (prakāśa) –

When the dialogue is spoken for oneself, it is called aside. In this situation, the actor enacts silently but the dialogue comes from behind the curtain simultaneously for the audience. However, when the dialogue is spoken openly for all the audience, it is called aloud. In the Rukmiṇīharaṇa, these two features have been applied frequently.

Confidential statement (apavārita) –

When something is special and is discussed with someone else for avoiding others, it is called confidential statement. In the Rukmiṇīharaṇa, it has been applied twice in the second act and twice in the fourth act.

Explanatory Scene (viṣkambhaka) –

The device of explanatory scene explains the matters of the past and future of the plot. It is of two types, i.e. pure and mixed, which come always at the beginning of the act. The two middle characters represent the pure one; whereas the two characters, i.e. the middle and the inferior, represent the mixed one. The Sanskrit is the language of the pure, but the mixed type contains the mixture of both Sanskrit and Prākrit. In the Rukmiṇīharaṇa, it is employed in the second and the third acts. In the second act, the mixed type of viṣkambhaka is employed, because, here the character (Dīpaka) speaks in the Sanskrit, whereas other character (Priyamvada) speaks in the Prākṛt. Then in the third act also, the mixed type of viṣkambhaka is employed, where a female ascetic, named Subuddhī, speaks in the Sanskrit and the female attendant Suvatsalā speaks in the Prākṛt.

Epilogue (bharatavākya) –

The epilogue is a song sung by an actor, who presents it on the stage. The actor wishes or prays for the prosperity and happiness of the people, state, kingdomand Brahmin.

In the Rukmiṇīharaṇa, the epilogue is the prayer to the rain god for the shower, to the poet for the sweet verses like ambrosia, to the Brahmin for the sacrifice and to the king for the wealth:

varṣantu vāri ruci………dhanānyamitāni bhūpāḥ
  –(IV.29).

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